Delheim’s dignified dame comes back into her own: Five stars for Vera Cruz Shiraz

Tuesday, 6 November, 2012
Erica Meles Public Relations
Tuesday evening marked the announcement of the five-star laureates in the 2013 Platter’s guide to wine; and for the first time in a little over a decade, the Vera Cruz Shiraz was counted among their number.
Deriving its name from Delheim’s matriarch, Vera Cruz Shiraz was chosen for Platter’s submission by Reg Holder, resident winemaker. Although the production of the current vintage preceded Reg’s appointment late last year, its elegance, balance and fruit purity immediately appealed as the style that he is working towards across the Delheim range. These are a natural consequence of an exceptional vintage, he says, at a vineyard site he believes to be unique.
“Freshness and richness of fruit, and exceptional natural structure are evident in the wine,” Reg said. “A collaboration of vineyard aspect, microclimate and soil, and the excellence of the vintage (2009) has produced a wine that held up well to a rigorous oak regime with plenty of primary fruit and secondary flavours.”
The Vera Cruz vineyard is grown on a low-lying site that limits length of exposure to the sun. The thickness of the canopy further filters rays, producing a dappled sunlight effect on the grapes. High potential oakleaf soils on a decomposed granite base impart a richness and structure to the tiny, flavoursome grapes; whose generous concentration is typical to bushvines of an advanced age.
Later vintages of the wine are showing prominent flavours of rich, dark berries, fragrant violet and spice. The boldness of structure is balanced by a thread of elegance that underscores the uniqueness of the vineyard site. Reg has opted for a lighter oak regime to enable full expression of the natural flavours of the fruit.
Vera Cruz Shiraz 2009 retails for R250 at the cellar and boutique wine stores.
Delheim wine farm, Knorhoek Road, off the R44, Stellenbosch. GPS: S 33 52 10" E 18 53
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